Inhale and heal with ANEEQA

  • 02 May - 08 May, 2020
  • Mag The Weekly

A marketer by profession, Aneeqa Naz, is a certified Hatha Yoga trainer and has completed her 200 hours teacher training program from Nepal. She is also a certified aerial yoga trainer from Bali. Naz is so passionate about yoga, that despite having a demanding job, she still finds time during the weekends to teach her students. She runs her own Instagram blog (@_inhaleandheal_) where she shares her yoga journey. Her motto is, "To spread the knowledge of yoga, mental and physical well being through my practice and be able to heal others around me who are looking to connect with their own self and want to embark on the journey of self love." She, in a conversation with MAG, shares her tips on how to follow a healthy yoga routine during Ramadan.

Can you share your experience with this practice? How has it impacted your lifestyle?

Practicing yoga for almost three years now, it has deeply impacted me and my lifestyle. Apart from the benefits it provides for my body, it also helped in maintaining my mental health and well being. It has brought discipline, commitment and creativity into my life and I realised that I am deeply passionate about aerial yoga and aerial skills.

With Ramadan going on, do you recommend regular yoga routine while fasting?

Definitely! It’s one of the best ways to activate your body. While fasting all day, digestion slows down from the change of eating routine and not consuming enough water. Ashtanga and power yoga are proper workouts which will help with digestion.

What according to you is the best time to do yoga? Morning or any other time?

You can do yoga at anytime of the day. I prefer mornings because it’s an active start and I feel fresh through the rest of the day.

The consumption of oily foods increases during Ramadan, can people maintain their weight through yoga?

Maintaining weight is a combination of healthy diet and exercise, diet contributing to 70 per cent of this combination. If you aren’t eating right, there is no exercise or yoga routine that can support you on the journey of weight loss. You just need to take care of your calorie intake especially in Ramadan where we tend to overeat during iftar and give into the cravings of oily, sugary foods.

Do you consider yoga on its own as a complete workout?

Absolutely! It also depends on what goals you set out for your body. There are different types of yoga that one can practice. Along with the traditional yoga practices, I incorporated aerial yoga into my exercise regimen and I design my routine or classes for my students in a way that it can provide a full body workout. It is a much modern practice of yoga, introduced only a few years ago. It is a great combination of yoga, pilates, barre and aerial skills. Super fun and effective!

What is the desired time length to do yoga for weight loss?

I would say, yoga supports your journey to weight loss. However, this isn’t the complete solution. It has to be paired with a healthy diet and an active lifestyle. But choosing active, intense styles of yoga such as Ashtanga, Vinyasa or power flow for about 60 to 90 minutes will absolutely help burn calories, tone and stretch your muscles.

Keeping in mind the fasting factor, what are your personal favourite yoga practices?

For me, it totally depends on my mood and what my body feels like, and I decide the practice accordingly. I feel it could be the same for others, whatever kind of work out their body can allow them to practice while fasting without over exerting or exhausting oneself for the day, can be practiced. It’s all about exploring and what works for you since everybody is different. For me, its restorative aerial yoga with deep stretches, combined with breathing exercises but some days, I go for an intensive full body workout.

Can a newbie start yoga at home without the assistance of any trainer?

I would always advise to practice yoga or any kind of workout under the supervision of a certified and experienced trainer. It is so important to check your alignment and posture while moving to ensure you don’t get injured. Lack of knowledge about your body and how it moves, can lead to injuries that can have a lasting impact. Once you get into that practice with your trainer, you can always practice at home keeping instructions in mind. You can also follow instructors online who properly guide in their videos.

Does yoga generally help with anxiety? What poses best work for this purpose?

There are multiple postures in yoga practices that can help relieve anxiety and calm your mind. Usually deep stretches, paired with breathing and meditation are highly effective in releasing stress and anxiety.

For a newbie who cannot do more than 10 minutes, how do you suggest they increase their duration?

Make yoga your own practice, start on your own pace and do it for however long you can in a day. Start by adding a few more minutes in your practice every time. We all just need to do what feels best and challenge ourselves to go a little further every day. Gradually, you will be at a point where you never thought you would be able to reach.

What kind of diet do you suggest to pair with it for maximum benefit?

It’s simple! Go into a caloric deficit. Consume less of the calories that you consume daily at your current weight and see the change. You don’t necessarily have to let go of a burger as long as it’s under the calorie intake for the day. Incorporate your favourite veggies, fruits, nuts and protein for a healthy and sustainable diet that you can adopt for good.

Lastly, tips to maintain a satisfactory yoga practice during Ramadan?

Eat well, incorporate lots of breathing exercises and be patient with your yoga practice.